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Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week - get the help you need

Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week is from 2 to 8 May, with World Maternal Mental Health Day on 4 May. The week-long campaign is dedicated to talking about mental illness during and after pregnancy. It is led by the Perinatal Mental Health Partnership UK (PMHP UK).

The week is about raising public and professional awareness of perinatal mental illness, advocating for women affected by it, and helping them access the information, care and support they need to recover.

Perinatal mental health refers to a woman’s mental health during pregnancy and the first year after birth. This affects more than one in 10 women in the UK each year. This includes mental illness existing before pregnancy, as well as illnesses that develop for the first time, or are greatly exacerbated in the perinatal period.

Examples of perinatal mental illness include antenatal depression, postnatal depression, anxiety, perinatal obsessive compulsive disorder, postpartum psychosis and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These illnesses can be mild, moderate or severe, requiring different kinds of care or treatment. If untreated these illnesses can have a devastating impact on women and their families.

At the Trust we are committed to supporting women and their families, during this difficult time. We want women and families to know that there is help available local to you.  Please speak to your GP, midwife or health visitor and they may start some treatment and advise on where you can get help and make referrals if needed. 

The Trust’s Perinatal Trauma and Bereavement Service is a new psychological service that we have been commissioned by NHS England & Improvement to run, working with women who experience PTSD relating to childbirth or loss of a baby in the perinatal period. 

The service can support people who are:

  • experiencing PTSD relating to their birth experience.
  • experiencing PTSD following bereavement in the perinatal period including difficulties relating to miscarriage, termination of pregnancy for any reason, stillbirth, and neonatal death.
  • experiencing a severe fear of childbirth which may or may not be related to a previous birth experience.

Our specialist Perinatal Mental Health Community Team also support and treat women with serious mental health needs during this time in their lives, from 13 weeks pregnant (once the pregnancy is confirmed) up to one year after having the baby, across Nottinghamshire and Bassetlaw.

Any health professional can refer to Perinatal Psychiatry or the Perinatal Trauma and Bereavement Service.

The Perinatal Mental Health Team will be promoting their service during the week across the City and County at various locations:

Tuesday 3 May 9am – 2pm Four Seasons Shopping Centre, Mansfield

Wednesday 4 May 10am – 4pm Forest Fields Asda, Nottingham

Thursday 5 May 10am – 3pm Morrisons supermarket in Retford, Notts

Further useful information can be found on the Maternal Mental Health Alliance website. including information about Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week.



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